November 27 2013

Hoax Alert: Anti-Gay Message Faked

Patrice J. Lee

Like most people I don’t like being duped and I can’t stand being lied to. I especially abhor when people lie about being targeted because of their race, gender, ethnicity or any other immutable characteristic. You can tack sexual preference and lifestyle on to that list.

It’s crying wolf to falsely claim you have been discriminated against. When legitimate cases of discrimination arise, it’s that much more difficult to believe. And of course these false claims are fodder for the race, gender and gay baiters who hijack salacious headlines to gain credibility, remain relevant and fundraise for their causes.

The latest such hoax is the story of Dayna Morales, a waitress who claimed she was snubbed on her tip and left an anti-gay message by a family.

After nabbing national headlines, becoming the latest grievance poster child and raising funds over the controversy, we are now learning that this former Marine from New Jersey may have faked the entire episode.

The family who was served by Morales contacted NBC New York News to refute her story providing proof they did leave a tip and denying they left the message. They are understandably irate:

…a family contacted NBC 4 New York claiming their receipt from the restaurant shows they did leave a tip, and provided what they said was a credit card statement as proof.

The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.

They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55.

The couple told NBC 4 New York that they believed their receipt was used for a hoax. The wife says she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line, which she said looks to be drawn from the right.

"We've never not left a tip when someone gave good service, and we would never leave a note like that," the wife said.

The husband said he and his wife have both worked in restaurants and believe in the value of tipping, and noted that he didn't vote for Gov. Chris Christie because the governor doesn't support gay marriage.

An internal investigation is pending at the restaurant, but the family’s receipts and credit card statements provide strong proof.

We may ask what possesses a person to do something so abominable. However, this is not the first case and probably won’t be the last. The Daily Caller exposed several similar hoaxes from wait staff that claimed they were left racist and classist messages by patrons. Whatever their motives someone benefitted and often it was the scammers themselves in the form of money and fame.

The media outlets that paraded this New Jersey waitress around on national and local television should produce updates to their original story, exposing what appear to be her fraudulent actions and male intent. Somehow I doubt that will occur, because our society is trained to immediately believe allegations of discrimination without much proof and to slowly abandon them when proven false. Tawanna Brawley’s rape hoax is a great example.

The opposite occurs when it comes to other types of fraud such as charity scams. We’ll throw the book at a nonprofit that doesn’t spend 99 cents of every dollar collected on direct programs.

For any organizations that came out in defense of Morales, they owe an apology to the wronged family. If I were them I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The moral of the story: when you hear a discrimination claim be as quick to scrutinize it as you are to scrutinize an unknown charity before donating. 

 

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